I am currently able to offer the following talks to groups of 10 to 100 people (or more, if necessary). Contact me at email@example.com or phone 0044-(0)1746-768956 (home) or 0044-(0)7932-904905 (mobile).
Talks for May & June 2013
3rd May: Lavington's Hole - launch at Theatre on the Steps, Bridgnorth
7th May: Shropshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Bomere Heath Ladies
8th May: Gladly the Cross-eyed Bear - Nifty Fifties, Wrockwardine Wood
20th May: Murder & Mayhem - Horsehay Townswomen's Guild
21st May: Hadrian & the Pork Scratchings - Bishop's Cast;e Women's Institute
23rd May: Lavington's Hole - Bridgnorth Library
24th May: Staffordshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Tettenhall Horticultural Society
30th May: Special Offa - Welshpool Parkinson's Society
30th May: Shropshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Springdale Ladies
3rd June: Staffordshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Haughton Women's Institute
4th June: Shropshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Wightwick Ladies
5th June: Warwickshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Beau Desert Probus
5th June: Shropshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Yockleton Women's Institute
13th June: Shropshire Cakes & Ale Trail - Penn Ladies
26th June: Hadrian & the Pork Scratchings - Church Stretton U3A
Hadrian and the Pork Scratchings
In 122 AD, the mighty Emperor Hadrian set sail from Rome to reach his northernmost kingdom, Britain. Here he decided to build the Wall that forever after has borne his name – a barrier to keep the woad-painted Jocks in Jockland. That Wall has been the source of investigation and enquiry ever since.
How was it built? Who built it? How was it guarded? Who by? And what was this mighty Emperor Hadrian like? Find out as I take you on a magical journey in the footsteps of Hadrian to visit the forts on the Wall, to see what history has made of it, and to discover the truth about Hadrian.
Did you know that:
- the Romans invaded Britain in order to discover the secret of pork scratchings?
- the reason Hadrian built the Wall was to stop the Scots importing woad into England illegally?
- the Romans built straight roads to stop their soldiers going round the bend?
“Another wonderful, witty and informative evening.”
The Staffordshire Cakes and Ale Trail
The Staffordshire Cakes and Ale Trail is a 100-mile journey from the home of brewing in Burton-upon-Trent along the Trent & Mersey Canal to reach Dr Johnson’s Lichfield before crossing Cannock Chase to the ancient settlement of Penkridge. Then it’s on to Eccleshall and via Wedgwood’s Barlaston to Stone before heading towards the market town of Cheadle and “Pugin’s gem”. Into the hills of Staffordshire Moorlands the trail leads past Alton Towers and along the Churnet Valley to the horse-racing mecca of Uttoxeter before a final southerly journey via Tutbury brings walkers back to Burton-upon-Trent for a last deserved pint of Real Ale.
Join me on a journey through geography and history and learn about gongoozlers, the first TV vet, the bishops buried at Eccleshall, the mistress of George IV, the inventor of Hovis, a bareknuckle boxing champion, the terrible accident at Hanbury and England’s greatest jazz drummer. And find out about some of Staffordshire’s finest pubs and cafes.
A laugh-a-minute journey through one of England's largest counties is guaranteed and you’ll never have to leave your seat!
"Back with some new jokes and some fascinating stories."
The Shropshire Cakes and Ale Trail
The Shropshire Cakes and Ale Trail is a 100-mile journey through the glorious countryside of southern Shropshire. It takes you from Bridgnorth down the River Severn and across country to Cleobury Mortimer, then over Titterstone Clee to Ludlow and on via Bury Ditches hillfort to the Saxon town of Clun. A trip along Offa’s Dyke then follows to take you into Bishop’s Castle and then over Stiperstones and the Long Mynd to Church Stretton. Over Wenlock Edge you go into Much Wenlock and then a return to Bridgnorth.
Join me on a journey through geography and history and meet the first Englishman to learn Chinese, the poet-postman of Cleobury Mortimer, the Kremlinologists of Clee Hill, the rare chickens of Wernlas, “Old Moore” and many, many others. And find out about some of Shropshire’s finest pubs and cafes.
A rib-tickling and entertaining journey is guaranteed and you’ll never have to leave your seat!
“Downright excellent entertainment”
The Worcestershire Cakes and Ale Trail
The Worcestershire Cakes and Ale Trail is a 100-mile journey through the splendid countryside of Worcestershire. Beginning in the spa town of Great Malvern, it takes you over the Malverns via Knightwick, Martley and the Teme Valley to Tenbury Wells, before returning south to Georgian Bewdley. Crossing the River Severn the journey leads you to the ancient salt town of Droitwich Spa before heading south to the plum town of Pershore and the delights of Bredon Hill. Finally it's across country to Upton-upon-Severn and then the circle is completed via the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Beacons back to Great Malvern.
Join me on a tour of geography and history and meet some dodgy vicars, a parson with a folly, the founder of anaesthesia, and an unusual Victoria Cross holder, travel through Elgar’s and the Led Zeppelin drummer’s haunts, discover the secrets in some ancient churches, and find out about some of Worcestershire’s finest pubs and cafes.
Another highly entertaining and amusing journey is guaranteed and you’ll never have to leave your seat!
"A splendid and fascinating talk."
The Warwickshire Cakes and Ale Trail
The Warwickshire Cakes and Ale Trail is a 100 mile ramble through the middle of England in Shakespeare’s Warwickshire. Beginning in the Bard’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon the route journeys along the Avon and Arrow Rivers to the Roman town of Alcester, then north to Studley and cross-country via Ullenhall to the mile-long street of history that is Henley-in-Arden. The route leads next to Kenilworth, where Robert Dudley's Castle awaits, and then southvia Mercian Offchurch to the many-pubbed village of Harbury before climbing over the Burton Dassett hills and circling the perimeter of the Battle of Edgehill to come into Kineton. A further southern jaunt takes walkers down the Vale of Tysoe to the lovely Cotswold town of Shipston-on-Stour, then it's back via Ilmington and Long Marston to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Join me on another tour of geography and history and meet some follies (Shakespearian and otherwise), an unusual American billionaire, a pie-maker, a 100 million year old dinosaur, a black slave girl and a red horse, discover the secrets in some ancient churches, and find out about some of Warwickshire’s finest pubs and cafes.
Another entertaining and informative journey is guaranteed and you’ll never have to leave your seat!
"Shall there be no more cakes and ale?" (Sir Toby Belch)